A Modular Bayesian Salmonella Source Attribution Model for Sparse Data

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Title: A Modular Bayesian Salmonella Source Attribution Model for Sparse Data
Author: Mikkelä, A.; Ranta, J.; Tuominen, P.
Date: 2019-03
Belongs to series: Risk Analysis 2019
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/303378
Abstract: Several statistical models for salmonella source attribution have been presented in the literature. However, these models have often been found to be sensitive to the model parameterization, as well as the specifics of the data set used. The Bayesian salmonella source attribution model presented here was developed to be generally applicable with small and sparse annual data sets obtained over several years. The full Bayesian model was modularized into three parts (an exposure model, a subtype distribution model, and an epidemiological model) in order to separately estimate unknown parameters in each module. The proposed model takes advantage of the consumption and overall salmonella prevalence of the studied sources, as well as bacteria typing results from adjacent years. The latter were used for a smoothed estimation of the annual relative proportions of different salmonella subtypes in each of the sources. The source‐specific effects and the salmonella subtype‐specific effects were included in the epidemiological model to describe the differences between sources and between subtypes in their ability to infect humans. The estimation of these parameters was based on data from multiple years. Finally, the model combines the total evidence from different modules to proportion human salmonellosis cases according to their sources. The model was applied to allocate reported human salmonellosis cases from the years 2008 to 2015 to eight food sources.

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